Humans just don't need milk or dairy

News stories made it sound like the end of the world if we went over the "cliff" and milk prices doubled.

The fact is the human body does not need milk or dairy products, and may be healthier without them. I know big, strong, healthy people raised on soy milk and rice milk.

Many people find relief from certain diseases when they stop eating dairy products. There is a strong correlation between animal foods and osteoporosis.

This may be a good opportunity for Americans to try some alternative vegetable-based foods; they may find themselves healthier for it.

Kit Miller

Walnut Creek

More guns means more gun deaths

Two articles appeared in the Dec. 28 Times that could have received greater attention -- not for their intrinsic value but for their implications.

The first told of an incident in New Jersey where a man was arrested and brought to a police station where, I would assume, many people were armed and trained in the proper use of arms. The arrested man grabbed one of the guns at the station and shot three officers before he was killed.

The second took place closer to home, where two guns were stolen from the Antioch home of a police officer.

These past few weeks, we have been told by some gun enthusiasts that the best defense against bad people with guns is good people with guns, and that criminals avoid homes where these good people with guns reside. Anecdotal evidence is often cited as proof of these maxims.

These two articles, however, appear to offer equal proof to the contrary. For those seeking more analytical evidence, the Harvard Injury Control Research Center features a number of articles finding that more gun ownership equals more gun deaths.

Lou Ascatigno

Concord

Need neighborhood unity to save lives

The massacre at Newtown, Conn., left me pondering: Why do school rampages and child murders occur in seemingly safe communities such as Newtown?

No rampage has ever occurred in Richmond. Shootings occur, but not on such a large scale and not with victims as young as those in the Sandy Hook school shooting.

I believe this is because of the necessity to have more unity among residents in a potentially dangerous environment. For example, residents who have children in a community where gangs roam the streets feel the need to network with other inner-city parents to ensure their children's safety.

It's likely the suburbs don't seem as dangerous, so perhaps nobody feels the urge for unity among the community, which can lead to negligence.

The Newtown massacre shows us we must be more involved with our neighbors, our neighbors' kids. And our community's kids should be more involved with one another.

It does takes a village to raise a child.

Marco Manriquez

Richmond Marco is a student at Leadership Public Schools in Richmond.

Navarrette biased against Obama

Columnist Ruben Navarrette consistently rants about how President Barack Obama is failing to fulfill his promises to the Latino community.

In one of his latest diatribes, he complains that Obama has failed to deliver to his black supporters, as well. But Navarrette is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He is a Republican, through and through.

He did not want Obama to be re-elected. But he also knows he does not have a better Republican alternative for Latino or black Americans.

The best he can do, at this point -- without disclosing his bias -- is tell us that Obama is not doing all he could do. But the truth is that things would get worse in both the black and the Latino communities under a Republican president.

The point is that as you read one of Navarrette's columns criticizing and scolding Obama, please do so with a grain of salt. He is not what he would appear to be.

George Fulmore

Concord